The Big Picture

 Before we head Down The Rabbit Hole for a few “Bullets” let’s get started with a look at The Big Picture, Venezuela style. There have been many descriptions of the Venezuela of today and none of them are good unless you listen to the authoritarians of the world or socialists sympathetic to “The Revolution” of 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism. Venezuela, these days, is a narco state,a kleptocracy with no real economy to speak of even though it sits on top of the world’s largest proven oil reserves and is rich in other natural resources as well and has an abundance of arable land. With all this going for it, it’s hard to understand how a country so rich could become so impoverished. The term 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism, once the darling of progressives around the world, says it all.

 Oxford Law recently did a piece on Venezuela looking forward and it’s not pretty. The headline read “Prospects For Restructuring Debt And Rebuilding The National Economy Against The Backdrop Of A Failing/Failed State”. Now that’s a mouthful. It began with a list of the problems Venezuela faces which basically could say ” everything,and I mean everything, is really,really bad!” You have the humanitarian issues of poverty (90% live in poverty with over 75% in extreme poverty), food insecurity/malnutrition, the troubling spread of disease which was happening years before Covid-19,a collapsed healthcare system, and high crime (year in and year out among the worst in the world), to name a few.

 Next it listed all the economic and financial woes and the over $160 billion in debt.

 In a very telling phrase it called the situation an unprecedented peacetime collapse. There has been no war, civil or otherwise (unless you count the Chavista’s war against the Venezuelan people), and no natural disaster. It is a purely man made problem. It didn’t even get into all the human rights violations and possible crimes against humanity committed by the Maduro regime.

 Then they said that any debt restructuring and rebuilding of the economy will have to wait. Nicolas Maduro is not inclined to do what is required for either. (He won’t even follow the recommendations of his allies,China and Russia)

 They went on to list various policies to facilitate a recovery but the problem is the destruction by Chavismo has been so pervasive international involvement and investment will be required and nobody wants to do business with these guys. They also mentioned the climate change/green energy factor which will be a headwind for an oil producing reliant economy.

 I have a source in Venezuela with many contacts in Chavismo and I asked him about why these guys keep hanging on. He told me that at this point they have no choice. Their crimes are so egregious that if they ever lose the reins of power they will be jailed or killed.

 Caracas Chronicles had a piece on the political outlook going forward and, as with all things Venezuela related, it’s not a pretty picture. ” There are, in summary,no domestic actors with enough strength to force the government to comply with any agreement, nor foreign ones seriously committed to doing it.” 

 And that, my friends, is the big picture. Let’s go Down The Rabbit Hole….

 Please be advised that when I refer to a specific chapter you can find it in the respective week of my blog posts. Example – Chapter 5 would be my 5th week of blog posts etc.

 Bullets :

 1/ Chavismo promised, and continues to promise, exactly what today’s socialists (and yesterday’s) are promising.

 2/You can’t have an honest discussion about universal healthcare if you can’t have an honest (factual and detailed) discussion about how to pay for it. See chapter 1     note: tax the rich is not a way to pay for anything! When “millionaire taxes” are imposed tax revenues Go Down! The millionaires utilize high priced lawyers to avoid payment or they simply leave.

 3/US sanctions are not responsible for Venezuela’s humanitarian problems. See chapter 2.

 4/PDVSA, Venezuela’s state owned oil company, was once the envy of the world. Today it is in ruins, not because of the downturn in oil prices or US sanctions. 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism destroyed it and if they can kill that they can kill anything. See chapter 3.

 5/After promising a more reliable electric grid, Chavismo completely ignored it and now,due to neglect,mismanagement, and corruption electric service has been set back 60 years or more. See chapter 4.

 6/Don’t take access to fresh water for granted. Chavismo has made the problem exponentially worse. See chapter 4.

 To be continued….

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